Lois Hetfield, the Executive Director for the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce, is stepping down from her post after 14 years on the job.
“I have very mixed emotions. I have loved this job for 14 years and enjoyed working with everybody. It was a big decision to step down but running our many events does eventually take its toll,” she said.
So Hetfield has decided to pass the torch on to a younger person, namely new Executive Director Rebecca Cavanaugh, who is 35. She began her new job this week.
Cavanaugh, who lives in Deal, said she looks forward “to growing into my position.”
She has worked for nonprofit organizations for 10 years. She is also an attorney who has focused on nonprofit management.
“I feel great about my new position and I don’t think I could have landed in a better town. The people have been just wonderful and welcoming and I think we are going to have a great end to this summer,” she said.
And Hetfield said she thinks Cavanaugh is a good replacement for her.
“I have been working with her since the end of May- she is a fast learner and doing a great job,” she said.
Hetfield said she will still “miss everybody tremendously” and will still come back and visit Ocean Grove.
Under Hetfield’s tenure many chamber events were expanded to draw more visitors into the historic district during the off-season.
“We have enough people here during the summertime,” she said.
She said that the Spring Fling arts and crafts show has been expanded from about 100 to 200 vendors and that the Fall Harvest Festival is up to 220 vendors from 90.
The chamber’s twice-a-year flea market has always been a success for 35 years and now has about 385 vendors.
As for future plans, Hetfield said she is likes to deep-sea fish and golf.
“I want to get back to these things plus travel and visit my family more,” she said.
Hetfield lived in ocean Grove for her first three years on the job but eventually moved to Manchester Township in Ocean County.
The Chamber of Commerce currently has about 133 members.